Mermaids would forget their heads if they weren’t attached to their necks. This we know. What we don’t know is why in the hell they would ever marry a human. I mean, how does that even work? Is it like a flea market trade where both individuals just throw their respective goods on the table and try to work something out? Maybe that’s a little crass. In case you’re confused, I’m talking about genitalia.

The scenario depicted above is actually a part of mermaid lore proper. Well, as proper as anything gets when it comes to myths, monsters and folklore. As with all things, there are many incarnations of the mermaid myth across the world. This particular bit is marvelous, though. Your ship is wrecked on some rocks, you are the only one to survive, you’re about to die and along comes a mermaid. She rescues you in exchange for your love, bringing you to her home beneath the sea. She spends all of a week doting on you then forgets that you breathe air and you die. Brilliant.

This is why nobody uses mermaids for rescue operations at sea.

Mermaids are one of those creatures that are beyond weird. It’s pretty obvious that the lore comes from sightings of manatees and dolphins, but the number and variety of ways in which those sightings were interpreted border on the insane. In some cultures mermaids were friendly if forgetful as stated above. In others, they were horrifying creatures that were seen as an omen of calamity. Some were sirens, singing in lovely voices only to destroy those caught up in their sorcery. Still others were depicted as having the feet of a water fowl and the ability to carry weaponry. What the last one is about, I haven’t the foggiest. A fish tail, human body, and duck feet? Yikes.

Mermaids have been on my list of subjects to tackle for quite some time but only now did I think of something interesting for them. Popular myths and monsters are often the most difficult subjects to handle because they’ve been done so much and so often in popular culture. Rather than be cliche, I just put them on the back burner until something good or at least weird comes out.